Fun_People Archive
24 Nov
With all the excitement of declined German verbs

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 97 13:34:59 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: With all the excitement of declined German verbs

Forwarded-by: Nev Dull <>
Forwarded-by: CSH Little <>

There's no avoiding it any longer. I don't like any of my friends. I've just
flicked through my address book, a thin volume, and was filled with
irritation, distaste and an overwhelming sense of boredom. One of the great
boons of living in a city is that you don't need friends. There are 11
million people within walking distance, a thousand new people every day for
the rest of my life and no need to repeat anyone.  Friends are only
necessary in the ghastly country, where you have to have them, along with
rubber boots and a barometer and secateurs, to put off bucolic idiocy, a
wet brain, or eating the 12-bore. Old friends are the worst, people who once
shared an office or a dormitory; the ephemeral reason for liking them is
lost in the mists of time, but convention and habit insist that you remain
interested in their fat wives and unspeakable children and endlessly
thwarted careers, while their hair recedes and their jowls and stories
proceed with all the excitement of declined German verbs. No, I like
acquaintances: a wide circle of faintly familiar people who smile and wave
but whose names escape me. An acquaintance has all the expectation, desire
to please and vivacity of a first date. They flash wit and compliments and
don't expect you to call or go to their children's weddings.
	-- A.A. Gill in "Diary", The Spectator, 1 November 1997

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